A graphic designed for World Sight Day. It is of planet Earth as the pupil of an eye.

We’re supporting a new Commission report on Global Eye Health published in The Lancet. It reveals the scale of untreated vision impairment and calls for a change in policies to address avoidable vision loss globally, and help develop economies and societies.

1.1 billion

estimated number of people living with untreated vision impairment in 2020

This number is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2050. Addressing avoidable vision loss with existing, highly cost-effective treatments, offers enormous potential to improve the economic outlook of individuals and nations, and to contribute to a healthier, safer, more equitable world.

Over 90%

of vision loss could be prevented or treated

The vast majority of these (90%) reside in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with the greatest proportion occurring in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

New estimates indicate that addressing preventable sight loss could bring global economic benefits of US$411 billion a year, and is essential to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing poverty and inequality, and improving education and access to work.

The Commission, authored by 73 leading experts from 25 countries including from Moorfields Eye Hospital, calls for eye care to be included in mainstream health services and development policies.

It’s calling on governments to include eye health in health care planning and financing, and to harness technology to improve diagnosis and treatment.

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings renewed emphasis on building resilient and responsive health systems, eye health must take its rightful place within the mainstream health agenda and global development.

Professor Matthew Burton, co-Chair of The Lancet Commission and director of the International Centre for Eye Health at The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

We’re very pleased to support the Commission and this critical piece of work gives us a greater understanding of growing eye health issues globally and how we can respond. Technological and other opportunities will help us to create a world without avoidable vision loss, improving economies and people’s quality of life.

Robert Dufton, Chief executive, Moorfields Eye Charity

This Commission demonstrates that—with the right tools, strategies, and sufficient funding—improving eye health has immediate and substantial benefits for economic and social prosperity for individuals and nations.

The funding was via a philanthropy supported grant.